Why we love it
Intuitive colors in this map hint at the amount of cooling you would want in your home over the course of a year based on where you live. We love that you can click on any location to learn more about that area—an effect that pulls us into the map. This map is embedded in a rich thematic atlas about energy use and consumption that ties together heating and cooling needs with the sources and costs of energy.
Why it works
This map introduces us to “cooling degree days,” a way to determine how much you would need to cool your home in a typical year based on where you live. Smooth contours of the data show that cooling patterns are not related to more familiar political boundaries, such as state borders, but vary according to elevation, latitude, amount of sunshine, and other climate factors.
Applied geographer, map curator for Living Atlas of the World and Urban Observatory. I work with talented people to make better maps by eliminating the noise and increasing the signal.